Thai Stock Market May Reclaim 1,600-Point Level

(RTTNews) – The Thai stock market has moved higher in three straight sessions, gathering almost 40 points or 2.6 percent along the way. The Stock Exchange of Thailand now rests just beneath the 1,595-point plateau and it’s tipped to see additional support on Friday.

The global forecast for the Asian markets is mixed to higher on optimism over the outlook for interest rates. The European markets were mixed and the U.S. bourses were up and the Asian markets figure to split the difference.

The SET finished modestly higher on Thursday following mixed performances from the financial shares and resource stocks.

For the day, the index added 8.57 points or 0.54 percent to finish at 1,593.65. Volume was 17.670 billion shares worth 49.438 billion baht. There were 1,021 gainers and 531 decliners, with 489 stocks finishing unchanged.

Among the actives, Advanced Info shed 0.47 percent, while Thailand Airport gained 0.70 percent, Asset World advanced 0.89 percent, Banpu jumped 1.87 percent, Bangkok Expressway rose 0.58 percent, B. Grimm spiked 1.89 percent, BTS Group accelerated 1.42 percent, CP All Public improved 0.79 percent, Charoen Pokphand Foods strengthened 1.38 percent, Energy Absolute perked 0.33 percent, Gulf was up 0.48 percent, Kasikornbank increased 0.77 percent, Krung Thai Card picked up 0.92 percent, PTT Oil & Retail lost 0.47 percent, PTT sank 0.79 percent, PTT Global Chemical added 0.54 percent, SCG Packaging gathered 0.53 percent, Siam Commercial Bank collected 0.49 percent, Siam Concrete rose 0.31 percent, Thai Oil climbed 0.49 percent, True Corporation surged 3.05 percent and TTB Bank, PTT Exploration and Production, Bangkok Dusit Medical, Bangkok Bank and Krung Thai Bank were unchanged.

The lead from Wall Street ends up positive as the major averages opened firmly higher Thursday, faded into negative territory as the day progressed before a late rally pushed them into the green.

The Dow added 75.14 points or 0.23 percent to finish at 32,105.25, while the NASDAQ surged 117.44 points or 1.01 percent to end at 11,787.40 and the S&P 500 rose 11.75 points or 0.30 percent to close at 3,948.72.

The early rally on Wall Street came as traders continued to react to Wednesday’s monetary policy announcement by the Federal Reserve, which indicated the central bank is nearing the end of its tightening cycle.

Buying interest waned over the course of the session, however, as concerns about the recent trouble in the banking sector continue to hang over the markets.

In economic news, the Labor Department noted a slight decrease by first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits last week. Also, the Commerce Department said new home sales in the U.S. increased from a significantly downwardly revised level in February.

Oil prices drifted lower Thursday on concerns the interest rate hikes by several central banks could slow down economic growth and impact the outlook for energy demand. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for May ended lower by $0.94 or 1.3 percent at $69.96 a barrel.

Closer to home, Thailand will release February numbers for imports, exports and trade balance later today. Imports are expected to rise 2.1 percent, down from 5.5 percent in January. Exports are called lower by an annual 7.0 percent after slipping 4.5 percent in the previous month. The trade deficit is pegged at $1.90 billion following the $4.65 billion shortfall a month earlier.